Saturday, December 18, 2010

Balasaraswathy , Dhanammal and T.N.Rajarathinam


T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai


Thanjavur Balasaraswathi



Veenai Dhanammal

On the 3rd of December 2010 , The department of Posts , released 3 stamps to honour 3 great Geniuses in the world of Music and Dance. Two of them T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai and Balasaraswathy are connected to Cinema and hence form part of my collection.

TNR was born on 27th August 1898 in Thiruvaduthurai ( Tanjore Dist.). He was sent to learn vocal music and gave his first concert at the age of 7. On the insistance of the elders in the family and those of the late Natesa Pillai ( a legendary Nadaswaram Vidwan) he was sent to learn Nadaswaram from A Kannuswami Pillai. He mastered the art with a great deal of hard work and practice. He was famous for his alaap of ragas which would at times last for hours.

He acted in the Movie "Kalamegham" - This film was made in 1940 , directed by Ellis R Dungan on the life odf the poet Kalamegham. The film also had N S Krishnan and Mathuram. The heroine was Dhanalakshmi and the screenplay and lyrics were by Bharatidasan.

T. Balasaraswathi - The legendary Bharatanatyam exponent and her great grandmother Veenai Dhanammal were honoured with stamps on the same day - a first time in Philatelic History. Bala, as the Satyajit ray film on her was called , was born on the 13th May 1918. She was skilled in music and took to dancing , mastering it with a wide repertoire at her command. She travelled widely across the country and all over the world. She was Honoured with the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeetha Kalanidhi among many other awards. She passed away on 9th Feb 1984.

Her Great Grand mother was born in George town in 1867 and mastered both Veena and Vocal Music. She had a long innings of 60 years of Music and did not much care for performing before latge audiences but preferred to give her recitals before a small group of knowledgable Rasikas. She passed away on 15th October 1938. She was held in awe and was much respected for her Knowledge and life style.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LALIT MODI - From "Raja" of IPL to "Raju" (Ramalinga type) of IPL.


I had posted the above title on Facebook and a reaction was - why am I targeting Modi ? Is it because of my "friendship" to N Srinivasan (NS) ? - The answer is simple - I wish I was NS's friend - I am not .

I do know his brother and his Sammandhi , both of whom are in my Rotary Club - In fact I have seen/met him twice in the past 20 years - once , when he was the chief guest at the Inauguration of the "Mahesh memorial Cancer ward" at the cancer Institute , Adyar and the second time at the MCC club, when the Chennai Super Kings were felicitated. On both occasions we exchanged a smile and maybe a "hello" - there were more than 500 other guests present. If this can make him my friend - then , yes, I am his friend.

My brothers are Advocates by profession ( so too my son as was my father) . As we are not a joint family staying together etc - their clients/friends are not people I meet. My brothers are too professional to discuss anything concerning their business with me.
They like all in the family are Cricket Lovers and they have played League cricket , indeed one of them as the Secretary of a Team has been in the TNCA for more than a decade - he is currently the vice President there. Still it does not make NS or anyone else from any Cricket Body "my" friend. It is as absurd as saying that a colleague of mine say -Mr Delhi Ganesh is a friend of my brother. I preface all this so that my remarks are understood in the correct context and perspective.


1. Chennai Super Kings is NOT owned by N.Srinivasan. It is owned by India Cements. India cements is a Public limited Company founded by the family of Mr Sankaralinga Iyer as well as by Mr T S Narayanaswami ( NS's father) in 1946.

NS as an individual holds 0.05 % of the Share capital of the company - as the promoter family he and the other investment companies hold approximately 28 %. Please check out this document available if you google it as I did -


IT IS SIGNIFICANT TO NOTE THAT MORE THAN 70% IS HELD BY THE PUBLIC, BANKS, F I I 'S ETC. So it is NOT an Individuals team or a private consortium like The Rajasthan Royals . Probably The Ambani's holding Mumbai Indians and the Mallya's in Royal Challengers are the other few totally transparent non overseas funded totally Indian team like the Chennai Super kings - maybe the Deccan chargers too but I have not studies them.


2. NS probably got the Board to change the rules to facilitate this purchase - whether that was done legally or not is being questioned by Shri A C Muthiah in his appeal to the Supreme Court - the matter being sub judice, it may not be correct to comment on that - Let me add that the lower court ( Madras high Court) has held in favor of NS and Shri ACM has gone on appeal. Let us await the verdict. It is the very same ACM's father who, as Secretary of the BCCI registered it in Chennai as a Society - and today ACM's friend Lalit's advocates are stating this as an example to show that this is a personal fight between NS and Lalit. What is probably a personal fight is the ACM - NS one.

3. The charges against Lalit Modi are that he was involved in a "Criminal Conspiracy" and set about to defraud the BCCI. Times Now, the Channel gave a lot of details and compared him to Suresh Kalamadi - they did , not I . He is said to have been responsible for over 450 crores being diverted away from BCCI to himself ( ?) . Here too we find that a Criminal Complaint has been lodged and FIR filed.
On the other hand NS by paying money has contributed to the coffers of the BCCI. So there is no comparison - as some have sought to make. Simply put - NS gave while Lalit took.
Here i wish that you click on this link and check out what lalit said immediately after announcing the results of the bids in 2008 . http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/jan/24ipl1.htm

4. Many have said that the IPL was lalit's creation and concept and he was a genius etc....I question that statement too....

The IPL was the brain child of many many others - Many don't recall that Subhash Chandra of Zee TV started this as The Indian Cricket league. Incidentally he too was a client of my brother. Check this link for a history of this league whose Inaugural season was in 2007 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Cricket_League ) .

The Chennai Team was called the Chennai Superstars and had many like R Satish and Hemang Badani in it ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai_Superstars ). This was considered a rebel league and did not find support with the BCCI , hence failed.

The official version based on this model was started by the BCCI and Modi appointed its "head". To credit him with inventing this is as stupid as crediting Zee TV , for all this is based on the Cricket leagues overseas and they on the Professsional Football/Basketball/Baseball Leagues of the World.

MODI JUST TOOK IT FORWARD. MAYBE IF A PROFESSIONAL WAS APPOINTED WE COULD HAVE HAD A MUCH CLEANER, TRANSPARENT AND SCANDAL LESS IPL.

I am surprised how people can justify his actions by saying that after all "it was his baby". IT WAS NOT. Maybe if the BCCI had asked Subhash to continue its ICL and given it official sanction then all this would not have happened.
The credit to Modi is that he converted everything - including the time taken in between balls to an opportunity to make money.

I ask , what do you think the IPL would have become like had a Professional Sport promoter / event manager headed the show and Professional Marketing people Branded it.

I ask , how would the IPL have grown had say a Ratan Tata or a Nandan Neelankeni headed it, both being Industrialists with a spotless track record, been at the helm of affairs as a against a man whose track record for ethics is dubious to say the least. Indeed his background check seems to reveal many things like the typical Soap opera.

Many have said that none of the existing BCCI guys could have done it, bit they are all people who are running multi crore companies and it some case the country - they know how to hire the right people.....in this case they did not choose correctly. Wrong choice - or knowing who were at the helm of affairs then, maybe it was intentional. ? Creating Frankensteins is a policy too.

Finally , I am surprised that many a "Tamil" is questioning NS and in fact supporting Lalit.

It was the bold enterprise of NS that got us in Chennai a Team. I do not know if any other Tamil Nadu based consortium bir for this....maybe we would have been happier if a consortium of businessmen operating through a Caymen island holding company bought the franchise for "my city" - of course with the statutory 25% held by lalit modi.

People like Vijay Mallya had bid even for the Mumbai Team but lost to Ambani. He was not exclusively Loyal to Bengaluru, his home town but viewed this as a investment opportunity.

NS bid for HIS City, his State and bought the best players - making the Chennai Super kings , the most succesful Team in the 3 editions of the IPL.
Why then question the man who has worked to enhance the pride of every cricket lover from our State ?

Vijay Mallya is the Vice president of the KSCA and the CEO of Royal Chellengers - Brijesh Patel, the secretary of KSCA , I understand that Mr Mukesh ambani too is in a state Cricket association , people from these states are proud of "their man" - the Tamil will always be different....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My take on "Endhiran"




I am a die hard "Rajini" fan and love him both as an actor and a human being, many an earlier blog of mine will prove this.

I watched Endhiran and must say I came out with mixed feelings....

The great positive vibe and feel was the "technical" brilliance that tamil Cinema has advanced to as well as the sheer gloss and richness that the film had in every frame. Kudos to Shankar and his Team.

The brilliance of the Graphics especially the last few minutes with the army of Robots has to be seen to be believed. Matches any Hollywood film.... definitely beats Bollywood by a mile.

They have spent crores and it was seen in every frame , every paise of it.....Hats off to the producers , who have taken tamil Film Production into a different orbit - albeit a dizzying one.
For it is this film that has made the rest of India wake up and notice us here.

The other lovely part of the movie that I truly enjoyed was the "Chitti" part. Rajini has proved what a consummate actor and performer he is in his avatar as the Robot ( corrupted). What elan, what dash, what an actor.....truly deserves the sobriquet "Superstar"....

This is not a Keanu Reeves movie , a Superman, Batman or Spiderman film , nor is it the Robin Williams starrer "Bicentennial man" - which in many ways is the inspiration for this film , if you want to know more about this film's plot click here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicentennial_Man_(film)


Now for me as a "Rajini" fan going to a Rajini film....to enjoy my "Thalaivar"

I always love it when Rajini dons the hero , he is the brave, honest good guy ( maybe a coward in the beginning but is transformed into a "Veeran" ) who is wronged by a Villain - he could be a friend turned bad like Sharat Babu in Annamalai , a truly bad guy like Raghuvaran in Baasha or even Suman in "Sivaji" - but there has to be a Duryodhanan - and Rajini , the Panchapandavargal all rolled into one , must in the climax "Thulp" the man out of his senses......

Superstar can also tame the shrew as he did Vijayashanthi in Mannan or Ramya Krishnan in Padayappa - BUT HE MUST HAVE A UNIQUE MANNERISM OR STYLE - that is what makes him the Super star and he MUST HAVE A PUNCH LINE - as Aishwarya says in this film "unnodadhu Thani vazhi"....In these aspects I was disappointed with Endhiran.

He should have had a one to one with Danny Denzongpa or Chitti ( preferably both) and kicked the @#$% out of them . On the contrary he runs away from a drunk toddy tapper who is teased earlier by Aishwarya.....My hero had NO moment of Glory except right at the end , and that too it is not physical but keeps chitti magnetically immmobile etc.... Great for Keanu but not for my Thalaivar.

Despite being the hero he must have at least one nice comedy scene - like the scooter ride with the priest as "paramasivan" or the snake around the neck in a Ladies hostel.....These are a must. Here too Endhiran disappoints

A scene or two with his parents and siblings highlighting "Family" sentiments , - remember that song ? - "Amma endru azhaikkaadha...?" - maybe even a song on the thaththuvam of life like " 8 x 8 vaazhkkai" - nothing like that here - in fact there is NO solo song for him here.

He must also have a nice comedy sidekick like Janakaraj in Basha etc or Goundamani in Mannan or even Vivek in Sivaji..... the duo in this film disappoint to say the least.....

His entry in the film must be with a bang - and a song - remember "Naan autokkaaran.." or "Vandhenda paalakaaran..." or "Devuda devuda..." - nothing like that here in Endhiran for Boss comes into the film without as much as a whisper......

Songs bring me to the point that I found the re recording absolutely brilliant but the songs left me disappointed....I am a die hard fan of the music of "old times" and for me melody is the key , I still relate to modern music if I can hum the tune as I walk out of the theatre - like the "style' song in Sivaji.....I am simply not able to recall a single tune ( I do not listen to FM , watch songs on TV or listen to the CD.) , the first time I listen to the songs is in the film and it must stick to my head. Needless to say the locations and the picturisation was extraordinary , loved it when Rajini does the Robot style dancing. All in all I thought the music of Rehman , another genius, did nothing to lift the film to greater heights as it did in Sivaji or Padayappa.

I must here say that the Stunt sequences were brilliant , probably the best in any Indian Film thus far. Peter heyn must be complimented and of course Rajini who must have had hours and hours of back breaking work - his professionalism and total submission to the Director never ceases to amaze me.....what a man !!!!!

I thought "Chandramukhi" was itself a mild risk as it lacked the elements of the classic "Rajini" film like a clear cut, well defined villain etc but made up more than amply with the songs, the humour and the basic story, not to forget those few glorious moments when Vettaiyan comes on the screen. The Robot here I thought was an extension of the "lakalakalaka" Vettaiyyan - as usual the superstar excelled in it so much so that the last scene was extremely poignant.

My Take -

As a Tamil film fan - Extraordinary Film -what a technical coup.
As a die hard "Superstar" fan - an ordinary film.
As a fan of the "actor" Rajinikanth - a film to be relished... Chitti , takes the cake.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Talk on Chandrababu .


Indian Express of the 18th August carried an article on my talk. I am thankful for the fine reporting. Please click on the article to get a more magnified, readable image.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Guru Dutt Stamp





The government of India had honoured one of Hindi Cinema's iconic Directors Guru Dutt with a Postage Stamp in the year 2004.

Guru Dutt Shivshankar Padukone was born on July 9th 1925 in Bangalore. His father worked in Bank while his Mother was a school teacher.

He did his early schooling in calcutta but did not study beyond Matriculation as his family could not afford it. He was always interested in Arts and joined the Uday Shankar "school" in Almora and studied dancing. Then joined prabhat Films as a Dance Director. Here he did not stick to Choreography alone but showed an interest in all other Departments and even did some small roles.

After his contract was over he joined as Assistant Director to Amiya Chakravarthy and later to Gyan Mukherji for his film "Sangram" - 1950.

Much earlier he and his friend an aspiring Actor had promised to give each other a chance the moment the first one makes it Big - the actor who kept his word was Dev Anand who called him in 1951 to Direct the Film "Baazi" - a crime thriller.

During the recording of songs for this film he met Geeta Roy , love blossomed and they married in may 1953.

"Aar Paar" in 1954 saw him being reckoned as a Director of some Repute. This was enhanced by his string of classics that followed Mr and Mrs 55 , Pyasaa , and Kaagaz Ke Phool.

The last film was a disaster in Box Office terms that a dejected Guru Dutt NEVER directed a film after that - at least it was never released in his name. This film is still viewed by fans and critics alike for the sensitive portrayal and superb Photography - Please see my earlier Blog on V.K.Murthy , The Cinematographer.

Soon after he acted and Produced in "Chaudivin Ka Chand" and "Sahib Bibi aur Ghulaam".
To him must go the credit of introducing long focal length lenses of 75mm and 100mm for Close up shots in Indian Films. His selection of themes, use of music and song and finally beautiful dialogues all shot with great care and play of light and shadow ensured that each frame was a masterpiece.

He died on October 10 , 1964. It is said that he committed suicide as he was constantly fighting depression and a battle with alcohol - another great career cut short by that vile and addictive extract of fruits and grain.

A nice Biography of him is released by Oxford written by Nazreen Munna Kabir for those interested in reading more.

Please watch geeta Dutt sing Waqt ne kiya in Kaagaz ke phool and let me know if such precise camera movements and lighting is there in any song by any body !!!! What a classic and REMEMBER he was a Dancer , and yet look at the minimal movements he has given to the actors.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Absolute Pawar - corporates Absolutely.


Image courtesy India Today.


The media has been crying hoarse about this "scandal" - Mr Pawar , I do not wish to go into the technicalities for I am sure all those ends will be tied up by you and your people.

I just have a few basic queries......

Why did the Board of the Company pass a resolution that the Company should not enter the IPL ?

Obviously the Managing Director had disclosed his intentions to the Board ( When ? Mr Pawar.) and the Board met , discussed and came to the conclusion to stay away from the gravy train , is that so Mr Pawar ?. When was this Board meeting held, who were all present, where was it held and when did you come to know of your MD's intent and the Board's refusal ?????

No Board , out of the Blue will pass a restrictive covenant against its MD unless it had prior information - one does not see the TATA Board asking Mr Ratan Tata NOT to buy an IPL Team.....so obviously the Board knew of the MD's intentions - maybe as you are a minority share holder, you did not know.

As a responsible Cricket administrator you should have done something - INFORMED THE IPL GOVERNING BODY THAT THIS MD OF YOURS IS A LOOSE CANNON AND THAT THE COMPANY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS BID.

Even after he had made his "failed" bid. Did you Mr Pawar ? After all your MD was sending a signal to the IPL that his bid has the backing of the all powerful Pawar.

Did you as a responsible cricket lover inform the BCCI of this Bid's illegality - I do not think the Bid was disqualified for lacking the needed corporate backing but it failed because they did not bid high enough.

Theoretically , the document was obtained under your companies name and the tender too submitted under the name of the company and if the company did not authorise him then the whole bid should have been thrown out or your MD obtained a different set of application forms from the IPL under his "personal" name and filled it up and submitted it.

Can the Public see his Bid document Mr Pawar ?

Will make interesting reading , we can find out for sure if he "misused" your good offices.Maybe he has put your name as one of the "minority" share holders , who were the Bankers he has offered ? Let us see what this errant MD of yours has done ?

I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU TOLD THE PRESS OR THE PARLIAMENT FOR YOU NEED NOT TELL THEM ANYTHING , YOUR PREROGATIVE - BUT THE CRICKET BOARD ? WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM ? IT IS YOUR BABY MR PAWAR.

Lets us take this scenario , just a scenario.....you let it pass because you wanted the Board to know that this bid is yours - unfortunately you took the advice of your protege's CEO - I mean Lalit Modis man, who, had even advised Tharoor to bid around 1200 odd crores , remember the e mail sent by Praful Patel's daughter - you may not. Praful may have leaked this to your MD who stuck to the figure while Shashi , the crafty one, upped the ante. The Board of course felt bad that both your Bid and that of the present IPL chief got thrown out of the window. Your protege got upset and he wanted to get his own back on Tharoor and Tweeted - the rest , as the say , STINKS.

Can we all forget which of you made money through your connections and what not and focus on sending an Indian team to the Asian Games....

I APPEAL TO ALL INDIANS NOT TO WATCH THE NEW ZEALAND SERIES BOTH ON TV AND LIVE , THE MEDIA NOT TO COVER THIS SERIES, IF WE ARE NOT REPRESENTED IN THE ASIAN GAMES.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

IIFA at Colombo- Kudos to the Southern Film Industry



I was watching the National ( English) TV Channels and the focus that was on the IIFA Awards being held at Colombo. It set me thinking , what made me act - at least prodded me to Blog was dinner with an old friend of mine, one of India's finest film makers , who has also set one of his films in the backdrop of the Tamil's struggle in Sri Lanka.

We discussed this Humanitarian crisis that the Tamils are facing there and it came out as we spoke that what the Politicians have not been able to ( or do not want to) , the Tamil film fraternity has achieved. We have been able to get the media and therefore the people all over India to become aware that there exists a situation in Sri Lanka that is not good , that must be addressed by the world , not just the Tamil world but the Human world.

In that sense we must be proud of belonging to a fraternity that has decided to raise a voice in support of those displaced and suffering. It is no longer an issue of just the "Tamil" people but one that is of a section of Humankind that is suffering - Thank you my friend for that enlightening bit of discussion we had.

It also showed me that however small a voice you are , if you are just and crying , it will be heard and will have some effect.

I always felt that the Hindi Film Industry did not care what we did in the South.
Our opinions and concerns did not affect them in any way and that we cannot do a thing about anything -Oh , how wrong and stupidly short sighted I was.

I understand that the Bachchans , SRK and a few other Top Stars are staying away. As the cry came a bit late not much could be done regarding the shifting of the awards itself to some other venue . Vivek Oberoi spoke to a channel on how he is using this a chance to do some rehabilitation work for those affected by the strife. Building a school etc.

I guess I was so wrong about my own Profession and its Power (Many of my Blog's readers and my friends in facebook did point it out.) . I asked earlier when Cricketeers and Politicians are not asked about their "links" with lankans why target only film people....I now know why....because, WE CAN....

We may not have prevented the IIFA from happening but if in the process the Nation's attention is given to this issue albeit for a day or two, then if there is some respite and even a single human being in Lanka is benefited, then the whole thing was worth it.

The next time I ask why me ( or in this case -Us.) I must change it to Why not me.....

நமக்கு என்னனு விட்டுட்டா அது மனுசனா பொறந்ததற்கு அடையாளமே இல்லைன்னு புரிஞ்சுகிட்டேன் .

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Down memory lane - Nadigar thilakam documentary




From Left to right standing - Mahesh, Music Director, Yours truly,
G.Ramkumar and Director K.Subaash.

Around the late 1990s Sivaji films wanted to make a TV show on Nadigar Thilakam (NT).

This was tentatively titled "Naanum oru rasikan" and was to have been him reliving
his experiences with around 100 of his colleagues, seniors and even those who came later.

His thoughts on them, his roles with them and then we wanted to get reactions from each of them ( those available). He wanted to trace the trip from M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar down to
the then present day.

Subaash , probably one of the few "friends" I have from this tinsel world, many like Prabhu and Ramkumar were friends before I became an actor, was excited to work with NT as his father Krishnan (Panju) was the one who introduced this legend in "Parasakthi" with that immortal first shot -"Success".

At a time when graphics had not grown his plan was to merge NT at home moving about when suddenly VO Chidambaram, Kattabomman, Parama sivan, prestige padmanabhan, barrister rajinikanth and several others keep walking past and to each of them NT reacts -
I was to have interacted with him and assisted Subaash with the research, script and editing.My good friend Mahesh was to have made the Music. For all of us it was the joy of working with the living legend.

In fact this helped me sit and discuss with him the list of people he wanted - the Producers, The Directors ,The Technicians ( all the crafts from Camera, Dance, Make up, Costume, writers and so on), His fellow actors and others whom he had enjoyed watching on screen - Olivier , Brando , Spencer Tracy , Paul Muni and many others up North including Prithviraj Kapoor etc. In fact we were wondering how to source footage from Hollywood films and the Royalty costs etc. You must remember the economy had not opened up as much as it is today.

Mahesh was toying with a medley of his songs , sometimes the old tune with new words and sometimes the old words with new tunes etc.....and one fully new tune.

The experiences he shared with us will live evergreen in our minds and the kind of respect he had for people like L.V.Prasad, Nagesh , M.R.Radha , Balaiah , Sridhar , APN , Chandrababu, ACT , His mentors P.A.Perumal and Subaash's father Krishnan , AVM , MGR ,the present CM Kalaignar, S.Balachander , Heeralal Master , Padmini, Kannamba , Manorama , Savithri to name just a few was really high .

We actually took up a list of 60 plus names to work with initially .

This was to have been either for Doordarshan or Sun TV - in those days DD was still in the big budget League.

Just reliving those moments brings tears, both of Joy and sorrow - Like he sang -
Naan azhudhukonde sirikkindren.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why target Kamal Haasan ?



All over Chennai have sprung up Posters which roughly say this
"Padmasri Kamalhaasan please resign your post as Honorary President
of FICCI which is running the awards in Sri lanka to cover up the genocide -
Live Like BharathiRaaja who threw away his padma Sri title - take him as an example"
This is the most factually incorrect statement I have ever seen - another clear case of Actor bashing.


Dragging the poor chap into a controversy that is NOT THERE.

Firstly FICCI IS NOT the organiser of the Awards - It is done by IIFA.

Kamal Haasan is not the President (Honorary or otherwise of FICCI) It is Rajan Mittal of Bharti. In fact in the FICCI website there is a list of 250 office bearers in which Kamal does not even feature.

Why do these people unnecessarily drag a Cinema person's name -

What do they mean Bharathi Raaja - as an example for kamal to follow...
He is a good Director - If he was so sensitive to any Title given by the "Central Govt." then he should not have any Truck with the DMK Party that is allied and supporting the Sonia Gandhi/Manmohan Singh Government.

Can he do that ?

Then what will happen to the nearly 2 lakh Rs. that is paid to him every day for his serial by Kalaignar TV - Therkaththiya Ponnu. In fact they even had a big function to celebrate its 500th episode , an event presided over by Dr Kalaignar.

It is an acknowledged and accepted fact that the DMK and its Chief is an avowed "Tamil" lover , even he has not commented in this regard - why do these lesser minions howl ? Can they not follow Kalaignar who shows astute political wisdom and sagacity as well as a practical approach to solving the Problems faced by the Tamils there ? No one can deny that there is great suffering there. No self respecting Indian should deny it.

The country is part of SAARC and our own PM visited Lanka in 2008 for the SAARC summit - the declaration mentions nothing about the Tamil Issue. What protest was there then?
A Sri Lankan member of parliament - Sanath Jayasuriya , played along with Sachin and company - are we going to ask sachin to quit Mumbai Indians ? Or ask Ambani to sack Sanath ?
Why not ? It is a logical extension of this argument on Kamalhaasan.
A Team was led by a Lankan in IPL , Dhoni had Murali playing for him so shall we boycott all these guys or ask them to resign ?

Please do not pick on Film Stars for everything. We are entitled to have our own views -
political , social, religious , economic etc. Do not force people to think only on the Lines that you want them to think. We are still living in a Democracy and are entitled to free speech and thought. This Fascist approach will be the death knell to free and creative thought.

Kamal is Tamilnadu's greatest film and artistic asset, one who has dedicated his life to Cinema do not belittle his achievements - many in the Film Industry must learn from him and follow his example on Commitment to the Arts.

FIRSTLY CHECK YOUR FACTS -
SECONDLY DO NOT PICK ONLY ON FILM ACTORS

Just because you need Publicity for your cause do not pick on them for a Piggyback Ride at his/her cost.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

IPL / BCCI - The Media's selective Bashing ?

THE DRAMATIS PERSONAE OF THIS BLOG

Vijay Mallya - Liquor baron, Owner BRC, VP Karnataka State Cricket Assn

N.Srinivasan - Industrialist , President TamilNadu Cricket Assn , Owner CSK, Secretary BCCI

Suni Gavaskar - Former cricket Player, Commentator , Member IPL Governing Council

Ravi Shastri - Former cricket Player, Commentator , Member IPL Governing Council

Brijesh Patel - Former player, Secretary KSCA and Manager BRC

Suhel Seth -

There are three Major issues raised in this blog.......

WHY IS THE MEDIA SO SELECTIVE IN IT'S BASHING ?

Everyone mentions that Mr.Srinivasan has bought a team , while being the BCCI Secretary etc. This was done after express written permission of the BCCI. This was questioned by Shri Muthiah ( I shall not get into that Politics here) in the Madras High Court and the Court held that what Mr Srinivasan (NS) had done was not illegal. Now the issue is on appeal in the Supreme Court. Being a matter Sub Judice I shall not comment on this case.

However, What NS did was to pay money , ie he spent monies that he was in charge of (technically India Cements' shareholders money). He did NOT take money from anyone to whom he was in a position to do favours or grant contracts.

Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri are in the Governing Council of the IPL. The IPL had awarded a contract to Sony , then rescinded and then Sony covers the same through another company which was paid a facilitation fee etc etc , this tangled web need not be discussed here.

HOW CAN THESE TWO DRAW FINANCIAL BENEFITS FROM A SUB CONTRACTOR TO A VENDOR ,THEY HAVE GIVEN THE CONTRACT TO ?

I understand that these two plus the Nawab draw a salary from the IPL - please clarify......Media - ask the relevant questions please.

The media has conveniently forgotten about this....who is the "badder" man , one who spends his money or one who takes money.?

These two gentlemen are Commenting on the current IPL and drawing a salary from a Vendor. Is this not Pecuniary benefit of an "interested" kind ?



Now they even have the gall to suggest that Ravi Shastri head the IPL or be part of the three member team to manage it. No problems , he may do an excellent job ,but do not gloss over his alleged misdeeds and sins of omission and commission. The media must be fair in its comments and tar EVERYBODY with the same brush.

THE NEXT ISSUE -

Vijay Mallya is the vice president of the KSCA and Brijesh Patel the Secretary of the KSCA , by this , they are in the BCCI - de facto. They are owner and manager of the Bengaluru Royal Challengers - this is acceptable ???? but the CSK cannot be owned by NS.

What double standards ? Media , wake up. or are you just pretending to sleep.

THE FINAL ISSUE

Mr Suhel Seth made an offensive remark on a National TV Channel that should make every Tamilian's blood boil. I am seriously contemplating suing the man.

He said - why should the BCCI be in "that" Tamil Nadu, why should it be registered there? Let us move it out of there......

Implying that the BCCI being in Tamil Nadu is the root cause of all evil and that Tamil Nadu and the Tamil People are the source of corruption.

What gall....

Mr Seth , the BCCI was registered here in the early 1960s when Mr. M.A.Chidambaram was the president ( 1960-63) , this was at a time when the Association had little or no money - not the millions it has now. So please get your background check done before you shoot off your mouth.

IS TAMIL NADU NOT A PART OF INDIA ? THE HEADQUARTERS IS MUMBAI , SIR , ONLY REGISTERED HERE SOME 47 YEARS AGO.

I appeal to all self respecting Tamils to mute the volume the next time this obnoxious man comes on Television spouting his wisdom - why do the channels call him ? I do not know , he has a nice , albeit artificial accent - clipped and what not , uses decent english but there it stops.

I do not know what businesses he has promoted and run so successfully ? - Mallya at least expanded his father's empire and NS turned around a massive loss making company to a profitable one.

He is not an acclaimed Philospher like Jiddu Krishnamurthy or even a thinker /writer like Nirad Chaudri - just a petty, offensive human being. Who thinks that Tamil Nadu is a den of vice and that Tamilians are corrupt and tainted - wish the Chief Minister will launch a campaign against him - his remarks are defenitely more injurious to the Tamil image than what Khushboo said.

He and Arnab Goswami who allowed it to be said must apologise to the Tamil people.

Monday, April 19, 2010

THE INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE – 2016






This is a Projection based on total imagination : Although the names are real , all these “reports” are totally fictitious , just for a good laugh. Remember a laugh , even at one self does wonders for the soul.

Cricket and Politics have always held hands and been strange bedfellows right from our own Pataudi standing for elections, Sidhu and Azharuddin too to boot – Jeyasuriya winning one recently in neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Cricket Administration with its Powar , I mean Power has attracted politicians of all shades and Parties. Jaitly and Narendra Modi to name just a few.In the Post Independance era Big businessmen took over from the Maharajahs who ran and played the Game alongside the Brits. Now the mix is the Political Business of the Game….

Let us see what may happen. Shashi Tharoor is a visionary, a fore runner for he opened the eyes of the politicians to the fact that they need not fight hard battles and later legal ones to take control of the cricket machinery of a State , all they need to do is to acquire an IPL Team.

The year 2011 saw new electoral alliances both in Politics and Cricket. This was the post Lalit Modi era. Readers may remember the expose that all Channels , after the Sun TV Network splashed it all over , ran of the Nithyananda like episode involving him and two starlets , one of whom , an Ammu Kutty from Vadaserikara was found to be underage. Modi claimed that she was planted by “politicians of Malayalee origin” keen to destroy him.

Sri Shashi Tharoor who was the Chairman of Satyam Computers claimed a moral victory and that he had nothing to do with this as he was in Mogadishu working out a deal for his company.

In any case the PM’s office quickly stepped in and the BCCI appointed Sri Rahul Gandhi , the IPL commissioner.

The BCCI President Shri. Narendra Modi , (whose election was a political masterstroke suggested by the Tamil Nadu Leader M.Karunanidhi , thereby mollifying the Gujaratis and the saffron groups in one stroke) , was being ably assisted by Vice Presidents Sri Rahul Bajaj ( that kept the Industrialists quiet) and Mrs Deepika Mallya, wife of Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya’s son.

Readers may be well aware that Mr Mallya was also the first successful man to take his Team as a Public Limited company , issue Shares ( currently quoting at 16 paise – Face Value of Rs 100.) as against the Mumbai Indians whose share is quoting at Rs 1,234 , face value Rs 10.

Needless to say the aggrieved Ambani sibling claims that the price is rigged and that his brother has hived off the entire share premium generated –a staggering 17,000 crores and is promoting the Indian Premier Kite flying League in West Bengal with the active help of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He also accused his brother of divesting over 70 percent of his shares in the company.

Thereby gaining in total a staggering 73,000 crores.This charge was totally denied by the Companies Cricket CEO and former Player Mohammed Azharuddin. The Board’s Secretary was Shri. Jagmohan Dalmiya and the Treasurer Ms. Kani Karunanidhi. You will also recall that she had shortened her name to facilitate it’s easy pronounciation by all Indians , especially Tamils. Her step brother Azhagiri however retains his name .

The last appointment you will recall came about as the earlier Treasurer had sold his Team , the Chennai Super Kings to Kalanidhi Maran for an undisclosed sum believed to be in excess of 3000 crores (although the Market Value of the Team was easily 10,000 plus crores.) and shortly thereafter the company went Public – An IPO of 25 percent shares valued at 4000 crores.

As a quid pro quo for his suggesting the Election of the BCCI President , Sri Karunanidhi swung the appointment of the Treasurer and to sweeten the pill back home in Tamil Nadu he was able to obtain Two new franchises for Tamil Nadu , the Madurai Marauders owned by Dayanidhi Azhagiri and the ECR Easyriders owned by Gunanidhi Stalin. The entire cricketing community was aghast at the fact that a single state had 3 franchises.

They were all mollified when Smt. Sonia Gandhi, threatened to resign as the Patron of Indian Cricket and all dissent died down. Shri L.K.Advani and his spokesperson Shri. Jaitly , called on Sonia Ji and briefed her about the affairs of the DDCA and how Virendra Sehwag has been successfully bought back from the clutches of the Kolkatta Knight “Red”ders – note the change of name which happened when the ownership went from Shah Rukh Khan to the nephews of Buddhadeb and Prakash Karat.

This was of course possible as the Polit Buro had cleared all these dealings even before it happened. This of course left the heir of the home Minister, PC , extremely unhappy as his similar request - for a franchise "The Chettinad Chutneys" was not cleared by the CWC. ( A procedure followed post the Shashi Tharoor controversy)

The Pune Punishers bought over by the Thakarey Group ( a wholly owned subsidiary of Raj and Udhdhav Thakarey, captained by Ajit Agarkar and his team ( Salgaonkar, Wadekar Jr , Rohan Jr , Jaideep Sardesai , etc ) of Pure bred Maharashtrians has just resolved to admit a few “foreign” players like the three Khan lads (children of Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir) as they are second generation Mumbaikars and have no links with any other State and as they could not play for the Mumbai Indians being under age at 13, 11 and 7 respectively. This was considered a master strategy politically for they had by this erased the “Hindutva” tag at one go. The first Child of Sania and Shoaib being a Girl was also being considered , more on that later. Sources say that the Ministry of Child welfare may well object and Arnab Goswami had already started a stink on "Child labour". Rajdeep Sardesai was being circumspect.

Laloo Prasad Yadav and Navin Patnaik have resolved their internal differences and a new look Team under the Captaincy of M.S.Dhoni is likely to enter the Tournament - “The Kalinga Konquerors” . Ram Vilas Paswan though has objected to the fact that the Team is not truly “Mandalised”. This sentiment was echoed by Mayawati and Anbumani Ramdas – who is miffed that his bid for a Team the “ Panrutti Payalgal” was rejected on grounds that the owners were fictitious and no such persons existed on the electoral roles. Mayawati’s team the “Ambedkar Adventurer’s” will however be Mandalised over the next few Season’s said a franchise spokesperson.

Selvi J.Jayalaitha , has claimed that IPL must reach the Tribals , and has suggested that they Play a few matches in Kodanad – she has assured that a world class Stadium will come up there. Much against her wishes her Party wants to name it as the Puratchi Thalavi Stadium and the IPL Team – “ Jaya – Sashi Josiars”. This name suggests that more than the Coach and Physio all decisions will be based on the Projections of "amma's" astrologers/Vasthu consultants/Priests/Numerologists and Sashikala's nephew who is a big cricket fan"

The reason this cannot happen say Political Pundits is that she wants the IPL Commisioner to come to her house and collect the needed signatures and that the entire BCCI working committee must join her for Breakfast and request her to join the bandwagon. They are to report at the main gate at 6 AM , gates will open at 8 AM and breakfast will be served at 9.30 AM , the next day.

Needless to say , with 32 Teams – a total of 4 groups and a League of the 3 winners in each group in another League the IPL runs into 10 months and 360 odd matches. Most Cineplexes have a dedicated Theatre for IPL and there is an add on Film as a bonus shown as well both before and after a match. As IIT’s , IIM ‘s and all other Colleges have had no takers – no one scoring the minimum marks to qualify for admission , they have all been converted to Sports Acadamy’s .

Brinda Karat and Mamta Bannerjee are proposing a bill to amend the rules so that each team will have at least 3 women players. This Bill was neutralised when , after much acrimony , Smt Sonia stepped in and proposed that 30 percent of all profits from the IPL will go to Women related causes. Smt Neeta Ambani was quick to point out that her franchise had already taken this up and in fact had spent over 37 percent last year. One of the Tamil Nadu franchises has taken up the rehabilitation of Ms. Ranjeetha ( of Nithyananda fame) while the Cochin franchise is actively considering the case of Ms.Sunanda Pushkar.

Bollywood , Kollywood and even Hollyood is hoping that like the “Mega Serial” , this IPL phenomenon too will fade away. Meanwhile just to add glamour a mixed sex Team of Stars is being considered – one each from North and South. Talks are on as to who will Captain the Tamil side – Vijaykanth fans have gone on fast that by virtue of his name their “thalaivar” alone has the right to be "Captain". Ajith appealed to the CM , that actors like him should not be "forced" to Play as racing and not Cricket was his passion, he assured the CM that he will gladly race even a bi cycle to protect the pride and honour of the Tamils.

Rajinikanth is considered for the post of Coach and Kamal has left for a 6 month tour of England/Australia and South Africa to study the Cricket leagues there. He has already suggested a few changes on the basis of the Japanese Karate League of which he claims to be an avid fan , in fact the only fan from India. Vijay’s father is waiting to see what will happen and if Vijay is be called for a ‘regular” team itself , if so which one to Join ? Hence , Vijay is busy shooting in Mauritius.

The "Nadigar Sangham" - the actors Union is divided as the President and Vice President do not see eye to eye Politically and the Secretary is an avid "Gilli" fan. The Treasurer along with 5 of the committee members have all decided that "Marbles" will be a safer game to play. The TV actors Union not wanting to be left behind assured the CM of their fullest co operation as in any case post IPL no TV actor was getting any work and all channels were only re telecasting the old serials - Chiththi was doing its 7 th re run , its first at the old slot time of 9.30 PM.

A separate “religious” crowd has started another movement – If they can play at Dharamsala – where the Dalai Lama is, why not play at Sringeri , Poori , Kancheepuram , and other Holy places for Hindus , they have threatened to dig up all the pitches with a “Trishul”. There are some rumblings on Naagore and Velankanni being adopted by a few franchises keen on scoring brownie points from the minorities.

The chief spokesman for the minorities Shri N.Ram , the editor of " The Secular" , (yes, they changed the name after a brief power struggle in the company before it was bought over by the Pope and Al Jazeera newspaper group ) whole heartedly supported this move and spoke at length on National Television to Barkha Dutt , another espouser of the cause.

AYYO , where is all this going ?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trick or Tweet - The IPL Franchise Halloween Story

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar

Shashi and lalit Modi

These days if you want news you better be an active Twitter - and if you do not want to be in the news ensure that you and all those whom you contact are NOT in Twitter.

An unseemly controversy has erupted over the Cochin Franchise and is bound to rock both the Parliament of the Country and the Cricket establishment. In a way it is good, for the cupboard is now opened before more skeletons can be shoved into it.

This is like an old Hindi /Tamil film a Love Triangle - with the the three corners being Lalit Modi , the Commisioner of the IPL . The Hon'ble Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor and a lady from the Middle east , Sunanda Pushkar , Sales manager of TECOM ( A real estate company).

Let us take the dubious roles of each of the three - Ladies first . She has been given a sweat equity in the Cochin IPL franchise valued today at 75 Crore Rs ( media report). The Franchise representative Mr. Gaikwad says her name was recommended by a "friend" and this is for her Professional expertise over the next 10 years - unbelievable !!!

It is more than the base salary that Indira Nooyi draws - In fact annualised at 7.5 crores - which is wrong as this has been given up front and assuming this Marketing whiz is not going to draw any compensation from the Franchise - the salary is more than what any of the CEOs draw in any company here. It is at least three times the salary that people like Ratan Tata , Rajiv Bajaj , Azim Premji and Muthuraman ( Tata Steel) draw as salaries - Sunil Mittal of Bharti draws a salary of 12 odd crores.

I have not heard of this lady being any kind of Brand Manager, Media expert, Cricket expert, Advertising Creative Head . This compensation is certainly not for just "expert marketing advice"- Who are you trying to fool Mr.Gaikwad ? You could have hired almost any Top Indian Executive for that Price , Indeed even taken the best brains from the European Football League for the first two years and then sent them off , without diluting your stake and parting with shares that will probably double in a few years. Have you not heard of the report that the Punjab franchise is up for sale and each share holder will probably triple his/her investment.

Now for the "external affair" , the second corner of the Triangle singing "Dost dost naa raha..." - He claims that he was just a "mentor" because he wants to spread cricket in Kerala , give the State a fillip etc. The motives are great and worthy of emulation. A mentor does not have to follow up every bit of the way - a mentor will guide and let them take the needed action - what is the need for such a mentoring ? If the stature of a Minister is required to counter "other" pressures or neutralize other forces then Shashi should have brought it up to the attention of the PM and got the process made transparent and open. After all was this not done in the 3G spectrum auctions ? , much to the chagrin of Shri Raja and his band of supporters. This obviously shows that all is not above board with the IPL. This clearly implies that there is much more than what meets the eye and the Minister has not just been a mentor but more a Tutor and the Tuition fees was paid not to him for his hands are clean - paid to his friend and he "did not know of her business deals". Amazing !!!

What is more shocking is that Mr Gaikwad accused lalit of many things , which would have come to the mentor's attention , after all when you can call for delayed forms etc , you must have been in the know of things , especially such a shocking "bribe" attempt, WHY DID YOU NOT BLOW THE WHISTLE THEN....? Why did you not ask Mr Gaikwad to at least complain to the BCCI President the very same day.? Why wait till now to unleash all that dirt on Lalit Modi ????

We now come to Lalit Modi - the "drug peddler" - according to Shashi's aides leaked information , the man who offered a 50 Million dollar bribe to Cochin to keep away etc. A lot of crap is thrown at this man , most will not stick. The bribe part is ludicrous as the team's were auctioned off and paying 50 million to them will only result in a re auction and not transfer of Title. In any case that will not prevent them from participating in the re auction with a "new" mentor if needed. So is Lalit squeaky clean - I do not think so. He is a wheeler -Dealer and if at all he has short changed anybody it is the BCCI . I do not know if we , as Citizens can claim that BCCI's wealth is national Wealth etc.
I wonder why no one has, under the Right to Information act asked for details of franchise owners ? I agree that the BCCI is not part of the Government but it is under the aegis of the Ministry of Sports. Maybe RTI may not apply but a PIL will certainly stick.

The time has come for the entire financials of ALL the franchisees to be examined , who spent what, what is the source of funds, where did the funds originate, who gains from it, do they pay taxes , what expenses are they claiming, has Tax been paid on that - does IPL a kind of entertainment form part of the "Service Tax" net ? Are exemptions being given ? if so why ?

This should be probed and answers provided. But will they ? The answer is an unequivocal "NO" as many State associations are today under the Presidentship of the Politicians. The others are with Business men who are probably better as they at least have the "legitimate" source for Money. No one can claim that Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings were financed by " dirty/laundered " money. India Cements is a listed Company and it's balance sheet available for scrutiny.

I do know that a very very large part of the BCCI's earnings ( almost 80 plus percent) is shared by all the State associations and that a few of these associations actually spend the money for the promotion of the game at all levels in the State ( Tamil Nadu does).

WHAT IS NEEDED IS A THOROUGH ENQUIRY BY A COMMITTEE OF SUPREME COURT JUDGES - THE UN INFLUENCABLE KIND - INTO THE WAY THE BCCI , STATE CRICKET ASSOCIATIONS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY IPL IS RUN (with special emphasis on the financing and spending) ..... Just like what took place in America years ago - and a regulatory agency brought in. After all did not SEBI come into being only when the Stock Market really Boomed - now Cricket has.

Manmohan Ji , can you rock the boat ? sorry Ship ?
Never , for like the Titanic it may sink.

Therefore the easy and painless way out is for two of the three corners of the Triangle to be faded away - Shashi and Lalit slowly eased out and the Philip Kotler from the middle east will by a natural process disappear - the IPL will continue and we will all still howl for sachin , anil, shane , dhoni etc to perform .... they will both on the field and in Advertisements which will go to further fund the Channels and then The IPL and then the Teams and then more auctions and more mentors - but will all mentors have such "beautiful" Marketing Gurus/Consultants....I doubt it, and that is a sad thought.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.